Tony Kornheiser played it safe in his "Monday Night Football" announcing debut last night, making few missteps but offering little for the highlight reel. It wasn't exactly clear at times why he was there at all.
It's still early, as the coaches like to say. But on the basis of his first preseason game, Kornheiser, the Post sports columnist and co-host of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption," wasn't many of the things that ESPN hired him for. He wasn't especially witty, provocative or insightful in calling the Raiders' 16-13 win over the Vikings from the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
It was enough to make one yearn for Dennis Miller, the comedian whose star-crossed tenure as a "Monday Night Football" analyst in 2000-01 was at least marked by a certain danger, a whiff of the unexpected, or the just plain loony.
If you think TV critics are only tough on news anchors and talk-show hosts, check out the reaction to sports everyman Tony Kornheiser's debut as co-host of ESPN's "Monday Night Football" – from his own newspaper. That's right, Washington Post writer Paul Farhi didn't pull many punches with this review on his colleague's performance from last night. A longtime Washington Post fixture, Kornheiser also hosts an ESPN sports talk show, has been an author, has hosted a radio show and even had a short-lived situation comedy based on him. But for all that, Farhi writes:
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